1 August 2001
NFU outlines path to profitability

By FWi staff

THE National Farmers Union has outlined ways it believes producers can recover from the foot-and-mouth crisis and return to profitability.

Farmers must maximise gross revenue and minimise net costs it order to survive, says a union document called Strategy for UK Agriculture

Greater co-operation and a reduction in red tape are vital so farmers can meet customer needs while improving the quality of the environment and countryside.

As well as producing food such as meat, cereals and dairy products, farmers have the opportunity to add value to those products, the document says.

But they could also develop new products, such as non-food crops, and provide services to society, such as maintaining the environment

NFU President Ben Gill said: “We certainly do not see a future in which a few efficient farmers supply the bulk of our food with others managing the landscape.

“Most farmers will develop in more than one direction. The NFUs role will be to ensure that farmers can meet the commercial demands upon them.”

Mr Gill believes more co-operation among farmers will help overcome the small size of farmers businesses in relation to other parts of the food chain.

The union will also push for lower input costs, a major information campaign on the qualities of British food and levy-funded research and development.

Mr Gill said he wanted a profitable, successful industry which offers opportunities inside farming while providing a diverse and rich countryside.

The document follows Farming for Britain: Our Contract with Society. was launched last year, setting out the NFUs commitment to society.